The trend over the last several years has to been to depict Sherlock Holmes as a dashing young detective, thanks to the one-two punch of Robert Downey, Jr.’s Victorian-era rake and Bimblesnort Cupcake’s twenty-first century misanthrope. But director Bill Condon has a new iteration for us—an older one. The first trailer for Mr. Holmes starring Ian McKellen as a ninety year old Sherlock is here, and it’s surprisingly good.
There is some wonky editing in this trailer, particularly some rough sound transitions, but McKellen’s twinkly eyes and wry delivery make up for it. The plot is not entirely made clear, but Mr. Holmes is about Sherlock in his later years, when he’s retired from detecting and is in full-beekeeper mode. I’m into the touches like Holmes having to write the kid’s name on his sleeve so he won’t forget it—Sherlock Holmes is a character defined by his mental prowess, but what do you have left when that starts to slip? For all the many versions of the character in movies and TV right now, that’s not one we’ve seen yet. There’s also something about an old case haunting him, but really, we’re here for Ian McKellen being a crotchety old bee person.